Neither NHL commissioner Gary Bettman nor deputy commissioner Bill Daly will be at the bubble sites in Edmonton and Toronto for the resumption of the 2019-20 season completed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Per ESPN's Greg Wyshynski, Bettman explained that they won't be in Canada on Aug. 1 because the current border closure requires that individuals entering the country from the United States must quarantine and self-isolate for 14 days.
"Bill and I have actually put ourselves on the back burner because we don't have the requisite approvals to enter Canada or the bubble without a 14-day quarantine," Bettman told media members on Friday. "We also have an open question as to whether or not an owner or a senior executive of a club can come in and watch the games from outside the bubble. Those are questions that are still evolving."
Canada has remained strict with safety protocols despite sports leagues returning to action this summer. The Toronto Blue Jays were forced to temporarily relocate to Buffalo after the Canadian government refused to clear the club to host games at Rogers Centre because of rising coronavirus cases throughout the U.S.
Bettman also suggested he could have the final say in deciding when or if a player who tests positive for the coronavirus is cleared to play.
"In the final analysis, it may be me. But I'm going to defer to the medical people, both from the governmental authorities and our own medical people in conjunction with the players' association. I won't be making the medical decisions. I'll be taking the guidance. But I suppose it's my authority to decide who plays in our games and who doesn't. But that's a decision I'm going to leave to the people who are experts in doing this."